A few new matchups are revealed for upcoming fight cards, and I’ll give my thoughts on these new matchups in the current MMA odds and ends.
Glover Teixeira vs. Ion Cutelaba, UFC on ESPN 3
A light heavyweight bout between Glover Teixeira and Ion Cutelaba, that was originally set to happen back in UFC Fight Night 143, has been rescheduled for UFC on ESPN 3, taking place April 27 at American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida. Combate broke the information. Teixeira (28-7) may be 39-years old now but he showed age does not mean anything to him when he completed the younger Karl Roberson in his final bout at UFC Fight Night 143. All-time Teixeira holds a 11-5 record in the Octagon and he may not be a real title competitor, he’s still a challenging gatekeeper and the perfect test for rising light heavyweights to take on as they look to move up the rankings. Even late in his profession, he can still complete fights.
Cutelaba (14-3, 1 NC) is 3-2 in the UFC and is coming off of back-to-back knockout wins over Gadzhimurad Antigulov and Henrique da Silva. Only 25, Cutelaba is among the greatest youthful light heavyweights from the UFC, but he is still very much unproven. After viewing Teixeira come back from being down early and finish Roberson, I think you need to prefer him to get the win from Cutelaba, though I do think Cutelaba will be more competitive than Roberson was.
Martin Day vs. Chris Gutierrez, UFC Fight Night 148
Bantamweights Martin Day and Chris Gutierrez are set to match at UFC Fight Night 148 (UFC on ESPN+ 6), which takes place March 23 in Bridgestone Arena at Nashville, Tennessee. Day (8-3) suffered a split decision loss to Pingyuan Liu in his UFC debut but had won three straight fights in the regional circuit before making his ill-fated UFC debut. Gutierrez (12-4-1) is coming off of a submission reduction to Raoni Barcelos within his own UFC introduction but had won three straight struggles in the regional circuit before that as well. This looks like a really close fight and that I expect the opening amount to be near a Select’em given how even it seems on paper. I had slightly lean towards Day to get his hands raised, but it is very close.
Boston Salmon vs. Khalid Taha, UFC 236
Bantamweights Boston Salmon and Khalid Taha will fulfill at UFC 236, taking place April 13 at an undisclosed venue (rumored to be in Las Vegas, Nevada). These two were set to meet in the TUF 28 Finale before the fight was scrapped. News of the rebooking stems from Shawn Bitter. Salmon (6-1) picked up a decision win over Ricky Turcios about the Contender Series back in July 2017 but has not fought because due to injuries. Taha (12-2) dropped a choice to Nad Narimani in his UFC debut . Given Salmon’s extended layoff, it makes sense to slightly lean towards Taha here, however given that Taha is far from a top prospect, do not be surprised is Salmon comes through and gets the win. I would expect a close line either way.
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